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part of swarm is outside the hive

1779 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Erik
I caught my second swarm (ever) Monday, pulled a few frames of new foundation from my deep, poured swarm in, replaced frames, and walked off. Checked Wednesday and noticed several bees going to the back and under the hive body. Looked under the screened bottom board and there's a double handful of bees there. Lots more bees inside the hive too but more action (bees that are flying in and out) from under the bottom board.
I am new to beekeeping and would like some opinions/ideas as to what is going on here and how to take care of it.

Thanks, Bret
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I've seen this happen sometimes with new swarms and it more often than not turns into nothing. If you have a screened bottom board the bees on the bottom may have congreagated there rather than inside and they will move inside. What I have taken to do with new swarms is to use a bee escape to capture them and hold them inside the hive for 1-2 days before allowing them to fly. I find the sequestering helps them settle down before they start flying, allowing the colony to spread over the frames.

Unless you see a large percentage it doesn't sound like anything to worry about.

Pictures are always helpful.
You should have the debri tray in. They might abscond without it in. Could be a queen underneath your bottom board. When hiving swarms or package bees always install your debri tray they won't consider it home if it doesn't smell like home. Queen pheromones can't build up inside the hive with the bottom wide open.:no:
What is a debri tray?
With the double handful of fees under the hive clustered, I would have to think you caught a swarm with multiple queens.

I'd dump the bees into a container and see if there is a queen.
Appreciate the replies and ideas. Here's an update. Checked on them this evening and found even MORE bees clustered under my bottom board. Opened the hive and looked in some of the cells that have been drawn out and didn't see any eggs and it's been 3 days, should see eggs by now, right? Some of the cells have brown or dark spots in the bottom of them (not sure what that is), some have clear liquid (not sure about this either), but I didn't see any eggs.
When I looked from the top under the frames at the cluster of bees, it looked like they were starting to build comb on the bottom screen so I would think they planned on staying there, with the queen. I got a container, pulled a few frames, and put the bees back in the brood box. Hope she's there and stays!
I'll check on them Saturday and see if there are any eggs. What am I missing? What does all this sound like to you all? Hope I'm reading them right. Bret
Sounds to me like the queen never got into the main box. Either there's more than one queen, possibly two virgins, or the sole queen ended up hanging out on the bottom. In either case I think you did the right thing and put all the bees from the bottom inside the hive. If there's two queens they'll fight it out but you want all the workers focused in one place so they can set up house and get things going ASAP.

Please do let us know how things progress.
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